Justice Thomas Included in ACA Decision When He Clearly Should have Recused Himself

On April Fool’ Day of this year I wrote a piece entitled, “The Best Supreme Court Money Can Buy Will Support Corporate Oligarchs on Health Care.” I opined that the fine hands of the corporate power boys would help to mold the final decision in the case of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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It’s a complex decision drawing on 70 years of ‘commerce’ precedent. The core question is whether the feds can compel a person to engage in commerce (individual mandates) or simply regulate the mandate after the individual decision has been made. Westlaw assesses the case through the rubric of individual mandates being constitutional or unconstitutional and if it’s the latter, can the mandate decision be separated from the rest of the act, thereby sparing the remainder of ACA?

LA Times Online queried a number of scholars in the legal, academic and journalistic fields and asked for their predictions of the outcome. Most believed the entire act would be upheld, mostly because any court action would be premature, given that ACA doesn’t go into full effect until 2014. The respondents conceded that individual mandates could be struck down, but that the rest of ACA would remain intact. It’s also interesting that overall consensus had not only Justice Kennedy joining the ‘liberal’ majority, but Chief Justice John Roberts as well. There was even some support for Antonin Scalia crossing over. Dare I, a mere mortal, vehemently disagree with so distinguished a panel on their Scalia read?

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Bear in mind, these opinions were rendered a couple of weeks prior to the three-day, late March hearings. Hearings that purportedly did not go well for the pro-ACA side. In any event, the decision has been made and only the Justices and in all likelihood Karl Rove and the Koch brothers know the outcome. The rest of us will have to wait until late June according to court-watchers. I think the Supremes will try to tinker with the mandates, but may decide that the Anti-Injunction Act will serve as a moat to even get to the constitutionality question. And there are the politics of the impact of an unpopular decision on the Republican Party in a presidential election year.

In the same April 1st article I referenced Virginia ‘Ginni’ Thomas, wife of Clarence “what the hell does he do up there?” Thomas. I talked a bit about ‘Liberty Central’, an organization founded by Mrs. Thomas that was dedicated to defeating any candidate who favored Obamacare. Just after the passage of ACA, Mrs. Thomas characterized it on the Liberty Central website as unconstitutional. Health care was the core issue of the organization.

I felt strongly that Thomas should have recused himself from the ACA case because of a giant dose of pillow talk from an incredibly strong and high-profile advocate for one side of the question. There was also the minor detail as reported by the Huffington Post of Thomas and fellow justice Scalia being feted at a dinner sponsored by the very law firm that would be opposing the act before the court. And attendance at other anti-ACA organizations by right-wing justices has already been well documented.

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But back to Ginni and Liberty Central from which she’s long since cut ties. In a manner of speaking. She’s still hung on to the name ‘Liberty’ and can now interact even more politically with the power boys and girls of congress. The name Liberty Central, has now morphed into Liberty Consulting, a lobbying firm for hire for all manner of right-wing corporate clients, especially those opposing Obamacare. Her departure from Liberty Central may have been prompted by the silly voicemail she left for Anita Hill demanding an apology for Hill’s truthful testimony exposing Clarence’s sexual harassment proclivities when in the company of the opposite sex. A spokesperson for Liberty Central described Ginni’s continued involvement as a ‘distraction’.

So we have a Tea Party propaganda arm, Liberty Central, founded by Ginni, followed by Ginni’s new undertaking, Liberty Consulting, with it’s consummate insider’s access to congressmen and women.

No question, Ginni is a poster child for all of that beltway insiderism the right pretends to abhor. And those morals and ethics the hyper-holy right pretends to worship and live 24/7? Virtually non-existent in the case of Justice Thomas and spouse. In case you missed it, a number of groups, Velvet Revolution, Protect Our Elections, the NY Times and the Huffington Post among others, uncovered and/or reported on some real dirt on Justice Thomas who appears to not only be a sexist pig, but also someone who possesses virtually no ethics. In June of 2011, the story broke that not only should have disqualified Thomas from hearing the Citizens United case, it should have greased a one-way trip out of the Supreme court and directly into the nearest lower court with Thomas as defendant.

During the Thomas confirmation hearings of 1991, the ultra-right outfit for which the Citizens United case was named, raised $100,000 for the purchase of ads savaging senators who hinted they might vote against the confirmation. Citizens United was later handsomely rewarded for their pro-Thomas efforts with his vote that determined the final outcome in their favor. Let’s see, a bunch of extremists spends a hundred grand to get you OK’d for the Supreme Court. You later vote in their favor in a landmark case named after this bunch. And recusal was not an option?

The perjury stems from Thomas’ failure to disclose years of his wife’s handsome income from the Heritage Foundation which, when counting Liberty Central pay, neared $1 million. “O, what a tangled web we weave When first we practise to deceive.” Don’t change what appear to be misspellings; the lines are exactly as written.  That wonderfully applicable line should be credited to Sir Walter Scott (not the bard) from the 1808 epic (meaning loooong) poem, Marmion; Canto 6, stanza 17, to save you a LOT of time.

Thomas said his lying bullshit was merely a ‘misunderstanding’ of filing instructions. Instructions that read, “Are you married? If married, does your spouse have any non-investment income?”  He was allowed to amend 20 years of deceptions that should have removed him from the bench.

I’ll close with one more Marmion line for supporters of Justice and Mrs. Thomas. “Ah! Dastard fool, to reason lost!”

 

 

 

14 Replies to “Justice Thomas Included in ACA Decision When He Clearly Should have Recused Himself”

  1. Ah! Our poor country, beset with presstitutes and Justitutes alike! (Not from Marmion, who surely would have been a Republican if they’d had them, though)

  2. The Grand Obstructionist party think they are all exceptions to the rule along with their teapartee masters and they are all misfits.shame.

  3. Ok…nice connection between Mrs. Thomas and clarence Thomas…but…you seem to ignore the bigger connection between Elena Kagen and the ACA….”She is obliged under Section 455(b)(3) of Title 28 of the U.S. Code to recuse herself from cases where a justice has “served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, adviser, or material witness concerning the proceeding or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case or controversy.”

    But you are obviously so biased here that this glaring TRUTH will fail to register in your lib-set minds….

  4. So, should former ACLU lawyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, recuse herself from any case involving the ACLU, and former Obama Administration official, Elena Kagan, recuse herself from any case involving the Obama Administration?

  5. Despite the fact you’re extremely biased, how do you allow Thomas to not recuse himself from the healthcare issue? You forgive him for taking money and gifts from the Koch brothers yet only talk about a “connection” with Kagan. Why should Kagan recuse when obviously biased Thomas and Scalia dont have to?

    But you are obviously so biased that this glaring TRUTH will fail to register in your teathug-set minds

  6. Justice Roberts defended both of them on their decisions not to recuse, and said that the Supreme Court is not required to follows rules of recusal since there is no higher court where their decision can be reversed. In other words, mind your own business, we are above you. there is more of a case for Thomas’ recusal than Kagan’s anyway, as Thomas had some sort of monetary interest (his wife didn’t pay taxes from her stint at Liberty) since thomas forgot to put that on his tax returns. And Citizens United lobbied against those who may not have confirmed him in 1991. Hence his favorable vote on the CU debacle. Thomas is a blight on this court. If ACA is ruled unconstitutional, this whole court can be viewed as the most corrupt and ideologically driven court in its history.

  7. In fact, Elena Kagan has recused herself from a number of cases; Thomas, not within my recollection.

    I see the paTrolls are out, with instructions to (try to) smack us down for having Bad Thoughts.

  8. With all due respect, Reynardine, not “Bad Thoughts” but rather, factual reasoned thinking that led us to logical conclusions. They just can’t go there.

    I believed Anita Hill. Thomas should never have been put on the court in the first place.

    As for the ACA, Ginny’s involvement and the fact that Thomas lied on his disclosure papers about her income for years would land the rest of us in a boiling pot of water, but a Supreme Court justice – hey do whatever ya want, you’re above the law. reich?! er, right!

  9. Voice, facts and logic have a liberal bias, and that is exactly why focusing on them constitutes Bad Thoughts to this crowd.

  10. Ah, yes, you are indeed correct. Silly me, Bad Thoughts it is.

    More Bad Thoughts: I have often wondered; if middle-class Republicans heard the way they are mocked by their leaders, would they finally get it? I have had the occasion to work for some uber-wealthy folks in my lifetime, some that were in the upper echelons of the GOP. While on the job, I once made the mistake of saying, “hello, Mr. Candidate.” My powerful and tactless employer stepped in front of me and said, “This is JUST A laborer, right this way Mr. Candidate.” I couldn’t help myself, as Mr. Candidate fumbled for how to respond I quipped, “Even JUST us laborers get to vote.” And then I was just unemployed. Mr. Candidate lost in the primary. It was just.

  11. I don’t recall Justice Kagan going around the country participating right-wing Koch brother affairs where they plan to destroy you and your grandmother.

    Say, unlike, the un-honorable Justice Thomas.

    EPIC FAIL.

  12. I know why Republicans hate Affirmative action. They are terrible at it. Jut like the way they run government.

    You ever notice when a republican puts a minority in a position they are usually unqualified.

    From Thomas to Gonzo to Rice. It’s like they look for the worst possible minority to fill a position to prove they are unqualified.

    The same way they run our country. They do everything in their power to show how government can be bad. Yet it only seems to happen when they run it.

  13. To Whom It May Concern
    Don’t forget justices Scalia and Thomas speeches at the Koch brothers closed conferences made up of millionaires
    and billionaires. Thomas spoke for about 45 minutes and stayed three days at the resort hotel paid in full by the brother’s AFP. Justice Thomas certainly did not turn in an expense report. I’m not making this up. I read it either here or in the Huffington Post or Koch EXPOSED. SHCCCC

  14. Accurate observation, and yes, it’s deliberate. As you noted, it only happens in the really visible positions (and is rare), and then they callously and wrongly use the problems caused by those few and rare instances to tar the rest of us who are actually qualified to do what we do.

    What gets me is sometimes when I tell of people who were really helped by affirmative action and what it really is like for my people, they start screaming almost incoherently. For instance, one of our tribal elders got her MA and job through affirmative action, and before AA not that many Southeastern NAs made it to college – even though they were more than smart enough. Before A.A., it was lucky for a (known to be) American Indian in the Southeast to get any education at all, and indeed, in some areas (where we had a larger presence) it was against the law for our children to attend school with either white or black kids.

    It was a rare and exceptional (and lucky) person whose intelligence and skills were so overwhelmingly strong that they could break through the racist barriers to education.

    Yet those damned racist jackasses resent the fact that minorities DO go to college and do well (and actually are qualified for the jobs we get when we are lucky). There is so much evidence that supports the book “White Privilege” and shows how even today most of us have a major uphill climb compared to white males, yet they insist it’s just the opposite.

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